The Goddess Path Issue #29
Rhiannon: Goddess, Bride, and Mother
This Issue: Table of Contents
Rhiannon and Mothers Everywhere
Doing It My Way
The Runaway Bride and the Sacred Wedding
One Lesson from the Myths of the Goddess Rhiannon
Rhiannon and Mothers Everywhere
this issue to
the Welsh goddess Rhiannon, faery princess, runaway bride.
Later she became a bride, wife, mother, divorcee and, eventually,
Since today is
Mother's Day, and in honor of Rhiannon's longsuffering
experience as a mother, I'd like to wish each of you a Happy
Mother's Day and share this wonderful piece that is
circulating on the web.
(As is often
the case, no author was identified. I haven't been able to
track the information down, but will share it with you when
is for the mothers who have sat up all night with sick
toddlers in their arms, wiping up barf laced with Oscar
Mayer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, "It's okay honey,
Who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end soothing
crying babies who can't be comforted.
This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up
in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers
in their purse.
For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and
sew Halloween costumes. And all the mothers who DON'T.
This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they'll
never see. And the mothers who took those babies and gave
This is for the mothers whose priceless art collections are
hanging on their refrigerator doors.
And for all the mothers who froze their buns on metal
bleachers at football or soccer games instead of watching
from the warmth of their cars.
And that when their kids asked, "Did you see me, Mom?" they
could say, "Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for the
world," and mean it.
This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the
grocery store and swat them in despair when they stomp their
feet and scream for ice cream before dinner. And for all the
mothers who count to ten instead, but realize how child
This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children
and explained all about making babies. And for all the
mothers and grandmothers
who wanted to, but just couldn't find the words.
This is for all the mothers who go hungry, so their children
For all the mothers who read "Goodnight, Moon" twice a night
for a year. And then read it again. "Just one more time."
This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie
their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the
mothers who opted for Velcro instead.
This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and
their daughters to sink a jump shot.
This is for every mother whose head turns automatically when
a little voice calls "Mom?" in a crowd, even though they
know their own offspring are at home -- or even away at
college ~or have their own families.
This is for all the mothers who sent their kids to school
with stomach aches, assuring them they'd be just FINE once
they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse an
hour later asking them to please pick them up. Right away.
This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who
can't find the words to reach them.
For all the mothers who bite their lips until they bleed
when their 14 year olds dye their hair green.
For all the mothers of the victims of recent school
shootings, and the mothers of those who did the shooting.
For the mothers of the survivors, and the mothers who sat in
front of their TVs in horror, hugging their child who just
came home from school, safely.
This is for all the mothers who taught their children to be
peaceful, and now pray they come home safely from a war.
What makes a good Mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion?
Broad hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and
sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time?
Or is it in her heart?
Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter
disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the
very first time?
The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to
crib at 2 A.M. to put your hand on the back of a sleeping
The panic, years later, that comes again at 2 A.M. when you
just want to hear their key in the door and know they are
safe again in your home?
Or the need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child
when you hear news of a fire, a car accident, a child dying?
The emotions of motherhood are universal and so our thoughts
are for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and
And mature mothers learning to let go.
For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers.
Single mothers and married mothers.
Mothers with money, mothers without.
This is for you all. For all of us...
Hang in there. In the end we can only do the best we can.
Tell them every day that we love them. And pray and never
stop being a mom..
Please pass this along to all the Moms in your life.
"Home is what catches you when you fall - and we all fall."
Please pass this to a wonderful mother you know.
(I just did!)
Doing It My Way
Several days ago I got an email from a disgruntled reader
that chided me for basing the story of Rhiannon that we tell
at the website on one of the lesser known variations of her
myths rather than the more widely known (dare I say
'officially sanctioned') version. I had chosen the version I
did because it spoke to me more eloquently of the
psychological 'binds' that modern women confront in their
lives and especially in their marriages.
OK, it was a
retelling of my favorite version and it was my
website, but last time I looked the First Amendment was
still in place, giving me the right to speak my mind and do
it MY way!
It is possible that I might have missed the news if
indeed the First Amendment had been repealed. For weeks now the media has been focused almost entirely on
the goings on of Michael Jackson and the story of ...
The Runaway Bride
Although we don't yet know the full story behind why Jennifer Willbanks became a runaway bride,
obviously she was not having
fun planning her wedding.
While it is
an extreme -- and extremely sad -- example, this story
shines a light on the fact that many brides,
unfortunately, are taking the "stress express" down the
away from the prospect of marriage is hardly a recent
phenomenon. The myths of the Goddess Rhiannon recount her
experience as a runaway bride. I'll tell you about her later
in the newsletter.)
Planning a wedding really is meant to be a
joyous and sacred time in a woman's life ... yet so
many brides find it can also be a very overwhelming and
filled with worries, large and small.
What has snatched the sense of sacredness from preparing for
the wedding day? And how can we bring the joy and spirit
back to the wedding experience?
Wedding planning can be a crisis for any woman heading
to the altar -- even those who are ordinarily calm,
open-hearted and level-headed.
Rev. Brockway shows
brides-to-be how to transcend the emotional frenzy and
take charge of this most sacred time of their lives
in her book WEDDING
GODDESS: A Divine Guide To Transforming Wedding
Stress to Wedding Bliss, which
debuted last week.
It is an excellent source of guidance
about how brides, families and our society can reduce
the drama and trauma associated often associated
with planning a wedding today.
(Needless to say, her advice applies equally well to
other areas of stress that appear in all our lives, even
if we're not running away or toward the wedded state!)
Read 'Expressing Your Love in a Sacred Wedding Ceremony, an excerpt from
the latest book by the author of 'A Goddess is a Girl's
The Winners of the Create-A-Goddess competition
. . .
are going to be announced in next month's edition of the
newsletter. Competition was fierce and there were lots of
delightful entries. Now it's in the hands of the god
So plan on
enjoying next month's issue. Thanks for your entries. Good luck
to all of you who put a name to the goddesses we meet in the
checkout lines, at work, and everywhere else we spend our time!!
always, here's the link if you want to read
our monthly progress report:
The Goddess Rhiannon, A Runaway Bride
The Goddess Rhiannon ran away not once, but twice--once from an
arranged marriage and once from a suitor who was moving a bit
too fast for her liking. You can read her story here:
The beautiful, carefree and innocent young woman who is
betrothed, without her consent, to an older, wealthier (and
usually generally repugnant) man to insure the social standing
of her family is a common motif in literature and folk tales.
The loveless marriage between such opposites holds few surprises
for us, but what of the other extreme--the heady, teasing
passion of two people who are quite unlike? How does this couple
'The seeds of the
destruction of a marriage lie in what originally attracted the
partners to each other in the very beginning', or so it is said
in one of the major theories of marriage counseling. And I have
often found this to be true..
Take, for example,
a couple I know hose marriage, like Rhiannon's began to
floundering following the birth of their first child. What had
attracted them to each other in the first place, they laughingly
admitted, was that each enjoyed the other's playful spirit and
their childlike qualities. They met at 'Toys 'R Us', discovering
that they both enjoyed the same off-beat toys.
story of Rhiannon and Pwyll, this couple's relationship would
tragically change with the arrival of their firstborn. The sad
truth of it was that one of them grew up and the other stayed
behind, missing his playmate and the carefree times they'd
Not all marriages
can be salvaged. This one wasn't.
Like Rhiannon, her
life had been turned upside down and she now shouldered a heavy
weight on her shoulders. It was the weight of single parenthood
and the poverty it often carries with it. But, like Rhiannon,
she carried that weight with nobility and dignity.
She was inspired
and comforted during the hard and lonely times by the story of
the goddess. Yesterday she graduated from the university with
highest honors, her future shining brightly once again.
This is the power of the myths--to give us a mirror in which we
can see more clearly the precious powers within our selves. The
power to help us accept, and even value, the parts of our lives
that would shame us . . . parts we would otherwise prefer to
keep at a distance or even disown. To remind us that it is all
part of the human condition, that it's all happened before,
someone's problems were even worse than ours and they survived.
To help us know that we are not alone.
In closing, a reminder to . . .
Look in the mirror every morning.
Note: you should use your own name in that affirmation, but feel
free to use mine if you'd rather. I just love imagining powerful
women all over the world saying it that way!
Pinch your cheek and say,
"God, Sharon, you are gorgeous and you make the world a better
place just by being in it!"
The Goddess Path